Justin Nash ex-teacher of History and Politics. I have also edited and helped research new editions of two books on the FEPOW experience in WW2 as well as a memoir about life in occupied France for a British family during WW2. My primary interest in this blog is to highlight new sources of information for those researching military history.
In late 2014 the Ministry of Defence answered my Freedom of Information request asking for the names of Army personnel who were of the right age to fight in WW1 (born before 1901) but whose service records it still held. This was a big deal for WW1 historians and genealogists and involves about 300,000 service records. Without this index it was often difficult to know if the MoD had a record for a WW1 serviceman who had continued to serve past August 1920. With the information in the index you can now identify your ancestor with confidence, fill in a form, pay £30 and get copies of their service records from the MoD. Most other surviving WW1 records were released sometime ago, first on microfilm and then via Ancestry/Findmypast (about two thirds of WW1 British Army service records were lost to a Luftwaffe incendiary bomb on the 8th September 1940).
The response to my original FOI can be seen here (six spreadsheets of information):
The link to the Ancestry database based on my FOI can be seen here: